A vacant lot Friday at 211 Water St. in Hallowell, which might be developed into new housing. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

HALLOWELL — A $1.5 million, six-unit condominium complex could be coming to Water Street — if approved by the city’s Planning Board.

The project was presented to the board last week by engineer Jim Coffin of Coffin Engineering, and Harry Wolfington and his son Harrison, who own the half-acre of property at 211 Water St. as HHN LLC with Nate Laflin.

No action on the project was taken at the March 17 meeting.

Planning Board Chairperson Danielle Obery said the project will come back to the board next month, at which time a site plan review and a public hearing are expected.

This isn’t the first condominium project to be proposed for the site. Back in 2006, Melody Main and Brenda Adler proposed a condominium project at the same property, but later abandoned the idea. According to Planning Board meeting minutes from 2006, drawings of the concept were shown to the board by Kane Coffin, also of Coffin Engineering.

The Main and Adler development had a total of 10 one- and two-story condos and would be accessed from Gows Lane, a road that connects Water and Second streets just south of Hallowell Seafood, but is not a through way.


According to meeting minutes, members of the board had a number of issues, including the building’s length, species used in landscaping, floodplain issues and the size of the condos — which were 863 square feet for the one-story units.

Adler said Monday the plans also called for the removal of two trees to accommodate parking spots, a facet with which she said Hallowell citizens took issue. She said citizens took their objections to “extremes” by posting anti-development posters on telephone poles.

“We would have cut a couple of trees,” Adler said. “We weren’t going to be deforesting the Amazon.”

A Kennebec River view Friday from a vacant lot at 211 Water St. in Hallowell, which might be developed into new housing. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Adler also said the city’s Planning Board was not very easy to deal with at the time, forcing them to give up on the project, losing $20,000 that was invested into it and selling the property.

Adler said she was “kind of jealous” of the new developers, but has put the proposed project behind her.

According to Planning Board documents, the HHN LCC development calls for six three-story condos, ranging from 762 to 781 square feet, with first-story garages. Each unit would have a double balcony facing the Kennebec River on the east side of the building. Tenants could enter their garages on the Water Street side and additional parking would be accessible from Gows Lane.


On Monday, Harry Wolfington said that target demographic for the condos would be people aged 40 to 65. He called the condos “upscale,” which would be priced “close to the market rate.”

Housing has been identified as a local issue during meetings of the comprehensive planning group in Hallowell, but emphasis has been placed more on subsidized and market-rate housing.

Harry Wolfington said the LLC bought the property from FDR Associates about three years ago with plans to erect a condominium complex. He said the LLC teamed with a developer for the project, but plans fell through and the LLC was forced to pick up the project.

“We’ve made some adjustments to the plan to meet the ordinance,” Harry Wolfington said.

He said feedback from locals about the proposal has been “pretty good” and there will be “numerous people” supporting the project at the next regular meeting of the Planning Board, which is scheduled for April 21.

During the March 17 meeting, Harry Wolfington said there were some issues with the Water Street-facing one-car garages raised by the city’s historical district consultant. He suggested putting windows consistent with the city’s historical district in the garage doors as a remedy.

Members of the board raised questions about the building’s height, which is 34 feet, 10 inches, just under the 35-feet maximum height allowed. There were worries that if the height was measured from the surface of Water Street it would make the building too tall under city ordinance. Wolfington said there would be some edits to the plan before it returns to the Planning Board next month.

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